Blueberries, cheesecake, an almond and hemp seed crumble, and a hint of cinnamon... all wrapped up into one whimsical-looking scrumptious little treat.
These cheesecake bars are super easy to throw together, nutrient-packed and satisfying, and handy to have around in the freezer for when you need a little something sweet. Or maybe for when you just need a mood lifter -- those cute and colorful little sliced blueberries (or hidden blueberry "gems" inside the filling) make me smile every time :)
So while these bars may not be the most "elegant" treat, they're super tasty nonetheless. The extra crumble on top gives these cheesecake bars a lovely chewy texture, which works nicely with the creamy filling. Sort of like a cookie sandwich filled with cheesecake and blueberries... only all grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, etc.
One quick note is that this is a recipe for a small batch dessert which only works well in an older style Vitamix or a similar power blender. If you have a newer Vitamix or a power blender that has a wider pitcher, you'll need to triple the recipe for it to work. But hey, on the plus side, at least you'll have more dessert ;)
A creamy raw cheesecake made with hidden blueberry "gems" with a layer of almond-hemp crumble on top. This blueberry crumble recipe is vegan, gluten-free, paleo / grain-free, and refined sugar-free.
- ½ cup raw almonds
- 1 soft medjool date, pitted
- ½ tbsp coconut oil**
- ½ tbsp maple syrup (or raw agave for raw version)
- ½ cup raw cashews, pre-soaked and strained*
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, softened or liquefied**
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (or raw agave for raw version)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ½ cup fresh blueberries
- Process all crust ingredients in a food processor (ideally in a smaller bowl) into a sticky crumbly mixture. Transfer into a small parchment paper-lined tupperware container (I used one that's 3" x 5.5") and press down into a flat even crust. Freeze while working on the next layer.
- Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. Blend all filling ingredients, except blueberries, into a completely smooth and creamy consistency in a power blender. Spread the blueberries in an even layer across the prepared crust. Then transfer the blended filling mixture into the pan over the blueberries. Gently smooth out the top and tap the pan on the counter lightly to even the mixture out. Freeze while working on the next step.
- Process all crumble topping ingredients, except whole raw almonds, into a sticky crumble. Sprinkle this mixture over the prepared filling. Optional: use some of the mixture to create 4 little balls to decorate the top with. Evenly space out the 4 crumble balls (if using) and whole almonds along one side of the cake.
- Freeze for 5-6 hours or overnight to set. When ready to eat, remove from container, slice into 4 pieces, thaw out slightly (about 10 mins) and enjoy!
*To pre-soak cashews: place in a glass bowl, cover with water, and leave to soak for 4 hours (or overnight in the fridge). Then strain and discard the water. For a quick pre-soak, cover with boiled water and soak for 15 mins, then strain and discard water. (Note: this technique doesn’t preserve the nutrition of the recipe as well as the traditional soaking technique above). Note: the purpose of soaking the nuts is to re-hydrate them and plump them up for blending into a smooth, cheesecake-like consistency. Proper soaking techniques also maximize nutrition and digestibility. If you’re interested in learning more about nut soaking and other dessert prep tips and tricks, I delve into these subjects in detail in my book Unconventional Treats.
**Alternatively can use liquified cacao butter in place of coconut oil in this recipe to make it coconut-free, though it will add a chocolatey flavor to the cheesecake.
Storage note: treat these bars like ice cream: keep the bars frozen until consuming, and store leftovers in the freezer.